Industry Urges Senate to Fund Infrastructure in Stimulus Bill

Written by Tim Triplett

Steel industry trade groups have joined voices in calling for significant funding for state departments of transportation (DOTs) in the next phase of COVID-19 stimulus legislation.

Members of The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), The Committee on Pipe and Tube Imports (CPTI) and the Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) urging the Senate to pass a broad infrastructure package to kickstart the economy.

“As a result of economic hardships in states across the country, DOTs have been forced to delay or cancel key infrastructure projects because of revenue shortfalls and the impact of COVID-19,” the groups wrote. “To ensure that these projects can proceed and create demand for essential [steel] products and support good wage jobs used in the transportation sector, the steel industry requests Congress include at least $37 billion for state DOTs in the future relief bill that will be considered by Congress this month. Ensuring that state DOTs have appropriate funding to carry out essential projects is an important first step in our nation’s economic recovery.”

The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) estimates that state DOTs will average at least a 30 percent loss in state transportation revenues in the next 18 months. This causes delay or cancellation of key infrastructure projects, resulting in decreased demand for steel products.

“We can put more Americans to work, improve quality of life in our cities, towns and rural areas and drive commerce and medical supplies across our nation by making infrastructure investment a critical component of the next stimulus package by including Buy America provisions and using domestically produced and fabricated steel,” the group wrote. “But, without immediate relief we fear that our national economy, and the steel industry that provides the backbone to that economy, will not recover.”

The group also launched a new interactive map showing the nearly 600 steel industry organizations responsible for building America’s infrastructure.

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